Distribution pattern of juveniles of the pink shrimps Farfantepenaeus brasiliensis (Latreille, 1817) and F. paulensis (Pérez-Farfante, 1967) on the southeastern Brazilian coast

Abstract The spatio-temporal distribution of juveniles of the pink shrimps Farfantepenaeus brasiliensis (Latreille, 1817) and Farfantepenaeus paulensis (Pérez-Farfante, 1967) in the Ubatuba region (SP) was investigated. Sampling was performed in the bays of Ubatumirim (UBM), Ubatuba (UBA) and Mar Virado (MV). A total of 2,018 F. brasiliensis and F. paulensis were collected. The largest catch of juveniles of both species occurred in UBA (N = 867), followed by UBM (N = 729) and MV (N= 422). The bottom sediment in MV had the highest silt and clay content, which explains the negative correlation of the substrate with the abundance of both species. Temperature was positively correlated with the abundance of both species. Juveniles were highly abundant in shallower areas in the summer of 1998. The high rainfall in this El Niño period may have lowered the salinity in estuarine waters and led the shrimps to move to coastal areas in search of higher salinities such as in bays. With this unusually early reduction in salinity, individuals migrated to the bay before the closed season began and thus became more exposed to fishing. We confirmed that monitoring environmental variations, especially in El Niño years, is essential for understanding the distribution patterns of juveniles of both species.

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